The walking meditation might not work with the dog. I couldn't walk slowly, one step per breath, because the dog requires brisk walking. He also requires me to stop from time to time. However, while my brain was full of stray thoughts--mosquitos! No, dog, you can't go into the street. Ooh! I can blog about this later!--at least some of my thoughts were about gratitude. Maybe a couple more than I would normally think, so that's something. And I did notice that I was less annoyed by the lawn mower in the park than I usually am. Maybe that was because I was focusing on gratitude instead of how annoying everything is.
The second meditation worked better, and I only stopped (I made it 12 minutes!) because I was feeling a cramp coming on in my left shoulder, and I've had a headache in that shoulder for the past two days and I felt I shouldn't push it. (Yes, a headache in my shoulder. Either you understand that or you don't. Suffice it to say, it's unpleasant and not something one courts.) I didn't feel transcendent or anything, but I did reach a nice state of relaxation that remained even after I got up and started to peruse the internet, until the dog heard the garbage truck and started barking like only a terrier/hound mix can. In fact, I didn't realize how relaxed I was until I was so suddenly surprised out of that state.
I know my choice of "gratitude" for a focus word was brought on by The Little Jewess. She was angry this morning, and in a fit of typical suburban-kid rage, she screamed, "There's nothing good at my house anyway!" Now of course, being American, my child is practically drowning in stuff. And so while I was walking and trying to think about gratitude, I also started thinking about what kind of post-its I'd like to have in my life, and what would be good for my family. I thought I could make a list here and then I can start thinking about what the post-its would look like.
My biggest problem in life is Depression and Anxiety with a side order of OCD. I take meds, but some spiritual practice and regular exercise are known to help as well. So mainly, I'd like my post-its to be things that take me outside of myself while helping me care for my body.
The things I'd like to increase in my life are:
I think that's enough to be going on with. Now I need a new homework assignment: something that will help me to find out what other Humanists are doing to increase these things in their lives.